Franco Mulakkal steps down as Bishop of Jalandhar diocese

While Franco Mulakkal announced his resignation in a video message, sources told TNM that he is likely to move to Kerala.
Franco Mulakkal
Franco Mulakkal
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Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was acquitted in the rape case of a nun from Kerala in January 2022, announced that he would be stepping down as the bishop of Jalandhar diocese on Thursday, June 1.  According to sources, the resignation was requested by the Vatican as Franco continuing to be the Bishop was creating fissures in the church.  But in their official statement, the Apostilic Nunciature of India, which is a diplomatic mission of Pope Francis in India, maintained that the resignation was requested by Mulakkal. The mission claimed that his resignation is not a “disciplinary measure imposed upon him, but as pro bono Ecclesiae, especially for the good of the Diocese, which needs a new bishop”. 

Mulakkal announced his resignation in a video message, stating, “The Holy Father Pope Francis has accepted my letter of resignation as Jalandhar Bishop, which I had written after detailed discussions with my superiors. I thank all those who stood by me and prayed for me as I went through a turbulent period over the last few years.” Sources in the Catholic Church told TNM that Mulakkal is likely to move to Kerala, where he may be made auxiliary bishop in one of the churches in the state. But it is unclear whether he will be accommodated in any of the churches in Kerala. 

It was in 2018 that a police complaint was filed by a nun against Franco Mulakkal, accusing him of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. Although the nun had submitted a complaint about the rape to the Church in June 2017, no action followed. Even though the police had registered a case against Franco Mulakkal, it was only after days of protest that he was finally arrested and a chargesheet was filed after a delay of seven months.

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